Role of Judiciary in Pakistan’s Booming Jihad Industry


A couple of days ago I wrote about the import-export features of Pakistan’s booming jihad industry. It is important to note that an international trade enterprise of this size could not be carried out without certain official agencies being either unwilling or unable to stop it. Usually, this is where someone will level some criticism or accusations against security agencies, but that is not my intention. What I want to draw attention to is the role of judiciary in jihad industry’s ability to thrive.

It is no secret that courts have been unable to convict many terrorists who have been arrested by police and other security agencies. A few years ago, it was even reported that 75 percent of terrorism suspects were set free in Punjab. The typical response from jihadi sympathisers and Taliban apologists is that they are set free because there is no evidence that they did any wrong. A new report shows that this is a lie.

An official document made available to Dawn shows that when thousands of terrorists are set free by courts they return to terrorism. 60 per cent of those aquitted are still involved in terrorism.

From 2007 till now the courts have released 1,964 alleged terrorists, says an official government document.

More serious still is the fact that of those released, 722 have rejoined terrorist groups while 1,197 are still actively involved in anti-state activities, according to the official document available with Dawn.

In other words, the document reveals that nearly 60 per cent of those acquitted of terrorist activities are still involved in anti-state activities. Though the wording of the document is vague it appears to suggest that those being monitored are still involved in militant activities.

Why would any terrorist groups choose to operate from Pakistan? Why would the head of al Qaeda declare plans to turn Pakistan into a base for global jihad? Could it be because, even when police and other security agencies do their jobs and arrest the militants, they can be sure that the courts will set them free again?



Author: Mahmood Adeel